Black Friday. Not only is it the much anticipated start to holiday shopping, it’s also a day manufacturers have been preparing for all year long. Whether mass-producing holiday cards, candy canes, plastic toys, or festive clothing, accurate color is a must. Manufacturers can’t ship two of the same toy if they won’t match on the showroom floor, and holiday sweaters that are a shade off will end up at a discount store instead of a fashion boutique. Perfection is especially import...

Posted November 25, 2020 by X-Rite Color

The color of liquid is one of the most difficult things to control during production. But it’s important. Would you choose a bottle of juice or cleaner that is lighter in color than the other bottles on the shelf? What about cough syrup?     Liquid is hard to measure because it can range in transparency from translucent to opaque. It’s also hard to hold, and the measurement device can’t touch it or the optics and the sample will both be contaminated.   Today&rsq...

Posted October 27, 2020 by Tim Mouw

As brand owners compete to make packaging stand out, commercial and flexible packaging converters and label printers are charged with achieving accurate color – on unique substrates – with shorter print runs. Many spend a lot of time mixing ink, then end up throwing it away when the color isn’t right. Others mix ink, store it, and spend way too much time trying to reuse it for future print runs.  If you’re stuck in this cycle, you’re essentially paying for ink...

Posted August 13, 2020 by Rich Knapp

Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing. Creating and using accurate digital color standards is one way to combat these errors. Digital color standards can be used in software to specify and communicate color, formulate colorants and raw materials, and control color quality. They give brand owners peac...

Posted August 03, 2020 by Tim Mouw

Whether you work with plastics, coatings or textiles, you must consistently achieve in-tolerance color or your product could be rejected before it even makes it to the shelf or showroom.     This is especially true for brands that rely on off-site suppliers and manufacturers for raw materials and parts that come together at assembly, such as the plastic dashboard, fabric seats, and coated interior panels of a car. Even if each site produces in-tolerance color, it must be monitored an...

Posted June 12, 2020 by Tim Mouw

In a highly competitive marketplace, brands and packaging designers are looking for ways to differentiate their products on the shelf. This increasingly goes beyond color to include embellishment options such as foils, special varnishes, soft touch finishes, and more. Designers are also using more intense solid colors, fluorescents and iridescents, and not just with conventional print. Digital solutions allow more variation in packaging and the ability to address shorter runs and faster cycle ti...

Posted June 04, 2020 by Ray Cheydleur

Reflective surfaces and metallic inks are very popular for printing and packaging applications. Consumers love the look; but for printers, these substrates and inks are expensive and make color control a challenge. Today we’re taking a look at the measurement options available for controlling these very marketable print and packaging applications to help printers and converters meet brand owner expectations and maintain the highest possible quality output. Sphere vs. 45°:0° - W...

Posted May 07, 2020 by Mark Gundlach

There are different levels of process control that are used for print. While visual comparisons can be used to provide a rudimentary judgment of a match, they can be very subjective, and thus not very accurate, or repeatable.    Using a densitometer can provide quantitative actionable feedback for the press operator. This can include measurements of solid ink density, tone value increase (also known as dot gain), Ink Trap, and other print characteristics. These are known as mechanical ...

Posted May 06, 2020 by Mark Gundlach

Appearance is more than just color. It’s an all-inclusive look at everything inherent to an object, including texture, gloss, transparency, translucency, and special effects like sparkle and shimmer. When viewed from different angles or under different lighting conditions, appearance effects can change our perception of color. That's why it’s important to control both color and appearance throughout design and development.  Durable goods brands use appearance effects to captur...

Posted February 20, 2020 by X-Rite Color

Managing color throughout production is always a challenge, but advances in color technology, like the metallic, shimmer, and pearlescence effects designed to capture consumer attention, are taking the frustration to a whole new level for quality control managers. This is especially true when producing parts that must match at assembly, such as the metal panels for a home appliance or the painted side mirrors for a vehicle.  Special effects are tricky to control because our perception can c...

Posted January 14, 2020 by Tim Mouw
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